Thread: Sensei?
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:47 AM   #33
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 762
Re: Sensei?

I think it doesn't hurt to know and be able to do "reigi" in an aikido dojo. That said, it's up to the head of each dojo to set the tone.
We're practicing a Japanese martial art, wearing "angry white pajamas" practicing with a "bow" and sitting in "seiza" and, and, and...
Most of the dojo I've been in have referred to the sensei as such at the start and finish of the class, but during class it's been (in approximate order of appearance) Don, Mel, Kawahara Sensei, Rocky, Andrew, Takase Sensei, another Andrew, Masuda Sensei, Ichihashi Sensei, Bill, Phil, Kenji, Steve, Robb, Papu, the second Andrew again, Chris, Irene, Din, Terry, another Bill, and a few others whom I can't remember in Osaka, Hiroshima, Victoria BC, (oh, yeah, Scott, Hilary, Mike)...

On the rare occasions I've led an aikido class, the formalities were adhered to at the start and finish of the class, and during the session it was "Walter..."

On some other notes... As an undergrad I called the professors "Doctor ....." in post-graduate studies, Dr McKenzie (MD, PhD) became "Don", Dr. Robertson was "Gord", etc... During thesis defense it was "Doctor Robertson, McKenzie, etc., and then during beers afterwards it was back to first names.

Pope? If I ever meet up with one I'll probably mumble whatever the protocol requires but it's tough to call someone "holiness" if there are no such things as gods.

I coach for a living. When people call me "Coach" I reply with "My name is Walter, please use it." Most of the rowing community with which I've been involved works that way, but I haven't spent much coaching time in the USA.

The queen? Hmm. Since I'm not directly related, "your majesty" I suppose. I had occasion to speak to the GG of New Zealand once a few years back - I used "Sir" because I didn't know to use "Excellency" as were his staff. It's really awkward when you're not supposed to touch someone and you're trying to help him get a life jacket on...
Parents were "Mum" and "Dad"

Last edited by Walter Martindale : 09-04-2012 at 11:50 AM.
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